Singer-songwriter Nikitaa unveiled her fourth single, ‘Tum Aur Main’ in collaboration with Nikhil D’souza. Presented by Sony Music India, ‘Tum Aur Main’ is sung by Nikitaa and Nikhil D’souza, composed and written by Nikitaa, with additional lyrics by Kunaal Verma.
Produced and composed by Nikitaa, the song brings out the chill RnB vibe filled drum and bass, depth of Indian classical instruments like tabla and santoor. Nikitaa spoke exclusively with The Daily Guardian and shared her thoughts on music and her new single.
Q. You have sung both English and Hindi songs, which do you prefer?
I don’t think I have a preference yet. I’m used to composing and singing in English – it feels more like ‘home base’ to me. But I’ve been having so much fun translating that sound, feeling, and message that I’ve put forth in my English music into Hindi! I don’t think I ever want to pick either language over the other musically and that’s part of what I stand for too.
Q. How was the experience of working with Nikhil D’souza for Tum Aur Main? Any tips you received from him?
It was so harmonious! Having Nikhil on board and so enthusiastic and appreciative when it came to the song was a gift in itself! Even though we had to each record our sections at home during the strict lockdown when studios weren’t really open, everything went perfectly. Nikhil is the kind of singer that takes a melody and fully immerses himself in it, and so we didn’t even have to do retakes of vocals after he sent them over. The way he conducts himself as an artist, singer and musician is inspirational.
Q. What is Tum Aur Main about? If we can get a glimpses of the song?
‘Tum Aur Main’ is just pure love. It’s not about a story or a narrative, it’s the core of that feeling of unconditional love and commitment. I initially started writing it as a letter to myself, but it became a declaration for anyone I love dearly.
Q. As a singer and music composer who has been your inspiration?
Up until a few months ago, I would have named a few legends as my inspiration. But lately, my inspiration has become those I’m closest to – my close friends and sometimes even family. Their lives, thoughts, and actions have been an inspiration for music lately. I like not having a specific musician as my inspiration right now. It’s taken away the idea of creating music within any kind of boundaries or with any personal expectations. It’s very freeing.
Q. Being an independent artist, have you faced any struggles? How was the experience of working on songs for Masaba Masaba?
I think every artist – independent or not – faces some amount of struggle whether it’s in relation to others or internally! One of the biggest ones for me in the past has been giving too much importance to the advice I’ve received without evaluating it first. When I first started, a fellow writer I trusted told me I shouldn’t bother with producing/ composing my own music. That had such an impact on me I didn’t really start producing until late 2019. I had to do away with all these ideas of who others wanted me to be, and just be myself. I had to learn how to do that while still maintaining professional relationships. Sometimes, I still find myself having to put my foot down in that regard. But I feel much more confident about it now. Working on ‘Masaba Masaba’ was such a fun experience. I’ve never done anything like ‘Aunty Kisko Bola’ before. But the producer of that track was so encouraging and supportive, he believed I could make it happen and was 100% right. I felt so impatient having to keep quiet about that project for all the months before it came out! But so thrilled when it did. I still have to pinch myself when I think about it/see it on Netflix.
Q. Any upcoming projects? Will we see you sharing chords in/for Bollywood?
A. Several upcoming projects, both English and Hindi. I’d definitely be open to dip my toes into Bollywood but let’s see how everything plays out. 2020 threw us all for a loop, and even though I like to think it worked out quite well for me, the industry is in some ways not the same as before. I’m looking forward to where 2021 takes us all.